welcome to nhk world "newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. here's a look at some of the stories we're following this hour. tens of thousands of people have come together in hiroshima to pay respects to the victims of the atomic bombing 69 years ago. a race against time. rescue workers in china try to reach the most remote areas hit by sunday's earthquake as the death toll approaches 600.
details of a meltdown. a new report reveals more of what happened at the fukushima daiichi plant three and a half years ago. every year people from all walks of life gather in hiroshima to remember and reflect. they attend a memorial marking the day an atomic bomb left the city in ruin. more than 290,000 people died either in 1945 or the years since. nhk world's takafumi terui shows us how their legacy and message are being honored. >> reporter: rain poured down on hiroshima peace memorial park. still, people came. the survivors were among them. >> translator: when i look back at what happened, i just can't hold back my tears. i keep thinking, why, why? >> translator: i came here to pass on the horrors of war and
memories of the bombing to my children's generation. >> reporter: and that's why many others gathered here too. by the time the ceremony started, about 45,000 people had packed into the park. u.s. ambassador caroline kennedy was among the representatives from 68 countries. at 8:15 a.m., participants observed a moment of silence to mark the time the bomb was dropped. [ gong sounding ] the ceremony comes weeks after the japanese government changed its security policy.
cabinet members reinterpreted the constitution to allow japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense so it could help a close-related country under attack. hiroshima mayor kazumi matsui alluded to the change in his speech. >> translator: the japanese government should accept the full weight of the fact that we have avoided war for 69 years thanks to the noble pacifism of the japanese constitution. >> reporter: matsui called on leaders around the world not to use what he labeled the inhumane threat of the absolute evil to defend their countries. and prime minister shinzo abe echoed his words. >> translator: we have the responsibility to ensure that we rid the world of nuclear arms. >> reporter: every year people from abroad travel to hiroshima
to take part in the ceremony and to better understand the true impact of the bombing. >> this is history, but it's also present. so it's important to see and to transmit to the future. >> i'm so thankful that i was able to make this trip. i'm more serious than ever of working for peace. >> reporter: the memorial ceremony concluded as it has since the late 1940s with local choirs performing the hiroshima peace song. people in hiroshima also mark this day with seminars and rallies. it's part of the efforts to keep the memories of august 6, 1945 alive and as part of a decades long campaign to make
sure what happened here never happens again. takafumi terui, nhk world, hiroshima. now let's take a look at some of the events leading up to when nuclear bombs were used for the first time in history. >> in 1931, troops from japan invaded china to secure territory and resources. they expanded their operations over the next decade. in 1941, japan attacked pearl harbor, an american base in hawaii, and invaded the british occupied malai peninsula. in 1942, american scientists started a secret three-year long project to develop nuclear weapons. on august 6, 1945, a us b-25 bomber took off from an island in the pacific..s b-25
bomber took off from an island in the pacific.. b-25 bomber took off from an island in the pacific. bomber took off from an island in the pacifi9 bomber took off from an island in the pacific. the crew dropped an atomic bomb over hiroshima, it exploded at 8:15 a.m. three days later, another american warplane dropped a nuclear bomb on nagasaki. the blast and heat rays devastated the cities. the attacks and the radioactive fallout killed more than 200,000 people by the end of 1945. six days after the bombing of nagasaki, the emperor of japan went on the radio to announce his country's surrender. >> we have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young americans. >> in the years after the war, up until now, tens of thousands of people have suffered from the effects of radiation exposure.
they come together with many others every year to take part in memorial ceremonies. their message is simple, never again. people in hiroshima and nagasaki continue to call for the abolishment of nuclear weapons and a world without war. >> people pay respects to the victims of the bombing and their families throughout the day in hiroshima. >> reporter: light and shadows danced on the exterior of the atomic bomb zone. this former industrial promotion hall has stood here for 69 years as a reminder of the raw power of nuclear weapons. many people have gathered on the banks of the river. every year, hiroshima residents and visitors mark this day by floating lanterns on the water. people float more than 8,000
lanterns. they write messages on each one of them. some call for peace and others note how every life is precious. it's an important occasion to mark the bombings. a survivor of the bombings joins us here. she has taught herself english so she can tell others about her personal experience and guide them around hiroshima. could you explain the meaning of lantern tradition? >> yes. lantern floating is a japanese custom to comfort the soul of the dead people. in hiroshima it has an additional meaning. people here write message on lanterns praying for world peace. >> reporter: okay so what compels you to tell your stories in english? >> using english, i can share my
experience directly with people around the world. without interpretation, i save time and listen to what they think about. for example many visitors from the states ask me do people in hiroshima still hate us or do any survivors want us to apologize? i tell them no, we don't hate them. we want americans to come to hiroshima and to learn what happened to the people here. nuclear weapons are so powerful. revenge or hatred is meaningless. >> reporter: overcoming hatred and joining hands is probably your point. but after 69 years, what is the
biggest message you want to convey? is there anything you worry about? >> now the average age of survivors is 79 and the survivors are dying day by day. they have died wishing no one will experience such a tragedy, but in the world, there are still so many nuclear weapons, so i want young people around the world to come to hiroshima as soon as possible, and after listening to our survivors' stories, take any action, spread hiroshima's wish to the world. >> reporter: what kind of action? >> please tell our stories to your families and friends. or if you are good at writing books or drawing pictures, do anything you can.
>> reporter: thanks for joining your thoughts. well, i spoke with many people in hiroshima and many felt the same way as ogura, that time is running out. survivors are trying to tell their stories of horror and perseverance, but they're getting older. many are diagnosed with cancer. thousands die every year. so the pressing issue is how to make sure that their memories don't die with them. >> i spoke with nhk world's former u.n. correspondent. she shares her perspective on the role japan can play in the global nuclear disarmament movement. >> the city of hiroshima and people of hiroshima have played quite a significant role, i think. first, as a reminder of the
horrific damage one nuclear bomb could cause. also as a symbol for the disarmament movement across the world. many survivors from hiroshima and nagasaki have been actively sharing their stories, with school children and visitors and some have become activists, lobbying the government to push toward realizing a world without nuclear weapons. >> all these activists and lobbying, it has been 70 years since that fatal day. has the message of peace from hiroshima been effective? >> whenever survivors speak about their own experiences, their stories are very, very strong. so their pleas touch the hearts of people who listen to them, but some experts of nuclear disarmament, including a professor of the hiroshima peace institute, feel that's not quite enough. >> translator: i don't think americans will understand unless we tell them that the war was
wrong and we learned lessons. but we think the atomic bombings were also terrible. similarly, some people in our neighboring countries say the atomic bombings ended the war and saved them. we'd better tell them we reflect sincerely about the colonization and military invasions. but at the same time, we should tell them we want the world to understand the inhumanity of nuclear weapons. only when the people of hiroshima and nagasaki convey that they understand the results of the war and of colonialism will their message be accepted. >> so i think what he means is that japanese must look at both sides. one, how inhumane a nuclear bomb can be, but also what damage the japanese side inflicted on
people during the wartime, especially in asia. and that if we say, oh, that's a thing of the past we've dealt with, the people who remember those events, sad events, wouldn't be convinced. so that's what he means. >> the united nations conference on disarmament happens next year, coincidentally with the 70-year anniversary since the atomic bomb was dropped in hiroshima and nagasaki. what role do you think japan will play? >> i think it could play a very important role. as you say, starting next april, the nuclear nonproliferation treaty review conference will be held in new york. its purpose is to strengthen the nonproliferation regime, which helps prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and technologies outside the five recognized nuclear weapon states. as prime minister abe said in his speech today, japan must
take the initiative to lead the world in this conference as well as the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty, which is not in effect yet. though, there are many challenges that lie ahead. u.s. president obama's agenda to s seek a world without nuclear weapons remains valid. japan must make more effort to work with the international community to keep up the fight that the survivors have carried on so far. >> prime minister abe met with people in hiroshima and said he will explain to people why japan decided to exercise it's right to collective self-defense. seven representatives of atomic bombings survivor groups, they urged the prime minister to rescind the cabinet decision. >> translator: a promise is engraved in the peace memorial park, it says all the souls here rest in peace, for we shall not repeat the evil. the cabinet decision breaches that promise and could result in
japan repeating it's mistakes. we demand that the decision be rescinded. >> abe replied the sole purpose of the cabinet decision is to protect the peaceful life of the japanese people in the increasingly severe security situation. >> translator: i would like to stress that japan's posture as a peace-loving nation will never change and it will not become a country that wages war. >> abe said he will work to gain public understanding of his position.
rescue workers in china are racing against time to find survivors of sunday's earthquake in the southwestern province of yunnan. china's state run news agency says the death toll for the magnitude 6.5 quake has reached 589. the quake hit ludian county on sunday evening. chinese media says an 88-year-old woman was rescued from her collapsed home on tuesday, 50 hours after the quake. she broke her ribs but her injuries are said to be not life threatening. the chance for survival for those trapped in the rubble is expected to drop sharply now that the 72-hour mark was reached on wednesday afternoon. rescue workers face a challenge as the area is mountainous and
landslides have cut off many roads and bridges. u.s. military officials say a man wearing an afghan army uniform has opened fire on international officers in kabul. he shot and killed an american general. major general harold green was part of a group of officers visiting a military academy. he's the highest ranking u.s. officer to be killed in action since american forces went into afghanistan 13 years ago. more than ten others were wounded, including a german brigadier general. the gunman was killed at the scene. no one has claimed responsibility for the attack. international soldiers are training afghan forces to take over security. the nato-led mission is set to conclude at the end of the year. ukrainian officers say their forces are winning the battle against pro russian separatists. the two sides have taken their fight into densely populated cities in eastern ukraine. the officers say their forces have isolated some militant units and stopped the flow of reinforcements. they say they should be able to
gain control in the coming weeks and months. officials in donetsk are reporting heavy fighting. they say civilians are among the casualties. the two sides are firing on each other near the site where the malaysia airlines plane was brought down last month. international investigators have been forced to leave the area. russian president vladimir putin has made it clear he plans to hit back at those who impose sanctions over moscow's role in the ukraine crisis. he's told members of his government to prepare retaliatory measures. putin met with russian state officials and took aim at leaders in europe and the united states. >> translator: political tools for pressuring a country's economy are unacceptable and contradict all international rules. >> putin didn't say what the measures might be, but he said they must be carefully designed to avoid hurting domestic producers or consumers.
russian media are reporting the government may block european airlines from flying over siberia. the people in charge of fukushima daiichi have learned some of their challenges may be more difficult than they thought. they're looking into unresolved problems at the nuclear plant. what they found has changed their understanding of what's happening inside. two years ago, members of a government panel released their final report on the accident. it said a worker manually stopped the emergency cooling system of reactor three early on march 13th, two days after the disaster. but the latest findings from tokyo electric power company show the cooling system had already stopped functioning more than six hours before. the findings suggest fuel rods started melting earlier than tepco officials believed, and
more melted fuel would have dropped to the bottom of the containment vessel. that makes the removal of the fuel more difficult than expected. tepco officials also found more problems. after the accident, crews used fire engines to inject water into reactor two, but the water may have reacted with the fuel inside to produce hydrogen, raising the temperature significantly. that sped up the meltdown. a man who has been striving for years to visit japan has realized his dream. he has arrived to see his father's home country as a japanese citizen. authorities in the philippines have refused to let him leave. they say he stayed in a country illegally for seven years. he arrived in japan on wednesday evening. shin was born and raised on the southern philippine island of mendenal. his mother was a filipino and his father a japanese who moved to the southeast asian country
before world war ii. shin's father went missing after being drafted by chinese authorities to fight in the war. he obtained japanese nationality in march, shin planned a visit to japan, but the philippine authorities refused him permission. they also said he had to pay a fine worth more than $30,000 before leaving the country. a civic support group and the japanese embassy in the philippines asked authorities to reconsider the case. shin was allowed to make the trip on humanitarian grounds. he plans to travel to the southwest to meet his relatives. >> a japanese astronaut is trying to inspire the next generation of space explorers, he's speaking to students about hiss experiences in orbit. he talked about the four-month mission on the international space station he completed in 2012.
>> i have experienced various missions in space. i realized that team work was the most important thing in completing all those missions. >> students from japan, china, south korea and thailand all took part. >> translator: i'm sure what i learn here will be of help. >> he wants the young participants to achieve the goals by always feeling grateful to people around them. people in hawaii are bracing for hurricane iselle's arrival on thursday. our meteorologist jonathan oh is here with the forecast. jonathan? >> hello, we are continuing to track two storms that are approaching hawaii. i do have some good news. it looks like the systems are going to weaken as they approach hawaii. however do not let your guard down, because we're going to
have some how far surf and heavy rains are possible as they approach the islands. here's a look right now at the satellite perspective. this is iselle and julio is right behind it. notice iselle does not have its characteristic eye compared to what was available on tuesday. what's happening it's hitting the colder waters of the pacific ocean. that's sucking the life out of the system. that means that has it continues to trek westward it will become a tropical storm. as it tracks westward. tropical storm watches are in effect in hawaii. we're expecting lawful thursday local time so we will be dealing with a lot of heavy rainfall, strong winds, some of them gusting up to hurricane strength. so not a stable situation. definitely make your preparations now because this system will bring a lot of rainfall. then behind it, julio will be moving toward the west. a hurricane for the moment but as it continues to get closer to hawaii, it is expected to weaken. on top of that, we do have a mechanism that's helping to shift the track a little bit further north so it doesn't look like this will make a direct landfall over the islands,
however, still expecting some rough surf, heavy rainfall and strong winds possible going into the weekend. so make sure you are preparing for these systems as we go through the next several days. in fact, already expecting to see the rain bans early thursday as iselle starts to approach hawaii. let's take a look at the forecast for the americas. bertha, by the way, a tropical storm not expected to make landfall in north america, it will continue to push towards the east. meanwhile a krochblt cold front clearing through the new england states, that's going to cause some cooler weather and drier weather as well. but still seeing a few showers and storms as we go throughout our wednesday. we are seeing a low pressure system and will bring some flash flooding in some spots. make sure you are aware of the
weather situation as you go through the day. up further toward the north, winnipeg, 29. sunny skies. chicago, 22. warm in the southern portion of the united states. 32 in denver, 34 degrees in oklahoma city. again, with we may be seeing some showers and thunderstorms for d.c. and new york. let's take a look at the forecast in europe. we are still watching out for a couple of big systems that are producing a lot of rainfall. one located near the balkan peninsula. some heavy rainfall, and you may even see some strong storm from even see some strong winds and strong storms from time to time to make sure you are careful with that. we have a low over the british isles. expecting some rain into france and germany throughout the next couple of days. your forecast for thursday, paris at 24, 23 in london, 25 in berlin, a little bit warmer down toward vienna. sunny skies with a high of 27 degrees. wrapping things up with a look at east asia, we're watching out for typhoon halong, targeting areas into okinawa by thursday. then by the weekend, the western portions of japan will be dealing with some heavy rainfall. already waterlogged from the
past several days of rain, it looks like we're going to be seeing even more rain as halong arrives for saturday and also into sunday. your forecast coming up for thursday. seoul at 28 with a chance for some rain. hot temperatures in central japan, tokyo 33 under partly cloudy skies. hope you have a good day wherever you are. here's your extended outlook.